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Preference Evolution and Reciprocity

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Author Info

  • Rajiv Sethi

    (Barnard College, Columbia University)

  • E. Somanathan

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

This paper provides an evolutionary theory of reciprocity as an aspect of preference interdependence. It is shown that reciprocal preferences, which place negative weight on the payoffs of materialists and positive weight on the payoffs of sufficiently altruistic individuals can invade a population of materialists in a class of aggregative games under both individual selection and random matching. Such preferences are efficiency-reducing when they are rare and efficiency-enhancing when they are widespread, suggesting that they can persist even under group selection and assortative matching. In comparison with simpler specifications of preference interdependence (such as pure altruism or envy), the survival of such preferences is therefore less sensitive to details of the evolutionary selection process.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/game/papers/9903/9903001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 9903001.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 04 Mar 1999
Date of revision: 12 Mar 1999
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9903001

Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP/PostScript; pages: 26 ; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Reciprocity; Evolution; Preference Interdependence;

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References

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